Any analyst research note entitled “Still Waiting For The New Products To Ship” can’t be bullish –especially when the note relates to Research In Motion Ltd.
Sure enough, CIBC World Markets analyst Todd Coupland has cut his target price on the BlackBerry maker to $75 (U.S.) from $90, while maintaining a “sector outperform” recommendation on the stock.
While the new target still looks very optimistic, implying a gain of more than 100 per cent from its current level, the downgrade is part of a rash of rethinking on RIM after it issued a profit warning in April.
Since then, the shares have slumped nearly 36 per cent and analysts have cut their targets by an average of 28 per cent. On Monday afternoon, they were just a dollar above their low point in 2009, when it looked as though all Wall Street employees were going to have turn in their BlackBerries and pick up shovels.
In his target price revision, Mr. Coupland noted that RIM’s second quarter is outlook is uncertain without new product shipment dates.
“Until then the share price will have trouble rallying, in our view,” he said in his note.
Meanwhile, at least investors will at least be able to chew on the company’s fiscal first quarter results, due to be released after markets close on Thursday. Everyone agrees that the stock is cheap, trading at just 5.7-times trailing earnings. But with competition with Android-based phones and Apple Inc. iPhones on the rise, investors are growing increasingly skittish that RIM will be able to maintain its once-solid earnings growth
According to Bloomberg, a consensus of analysts expect RIM to generate earnings of $1.33 a share in the first quarter, down slightly over last year. Mr. Coupland expects earnings of $1.37 a share, after accounting for one-time items. He is also forecasting shipments of 13.5 million smartphones during the quarter, along with 400,000 PlayBook tablet computers.